Finishing touches are underway for Navy Pier Flyover, a one-third mile long elevated path meant to improve pedestrian and bike access around the mouth of the Chicago River. Commissioned by the Chicago Department of Transportation, the $64 million infrastructure project has been divided into three stages. The two already-completed stages connect the river to Ohio Street Beach, while the remaining third phase will integrate with Outer Drive Bridge.
HNTB is the infrastructure designer behind all three of the Flyover’s sections. The two completed phases involve a steel tube and rib system that enable more degrees of freedom. The third phase, meanwhile, involves a new cantilevered path that attaches to the existing bridge and tunnels through two of its towers, thereby allowing for the pathway to retain its minimum 16-foot width. The design of this final section adapts to the style of the original 1937 bridge, a departure from the contemporary metal aesthetic of the rest of the project.
As far as transit in the area, bikers and pedestrians will find bus access for Routes 2, 29, 65, 66, 120, 121, and 124 within a 10-minute walk from the Northern Streeterville edge. Meanwhile, the southern end of the Flyover will lie within walking distance for Routes 4, 6, 20, 60, 124, 134, 135, and 136. Those looking to board the CTA L will find the Red Line via a 19-minute walk from the Streeterville end via Grand station, while all lines are available within roughly a 20-minute walk west from the Lakeshore East end.
While a portion of the bridge phase opened earlier in February, remaining work is still progressing on the tunnel portions in each of the bridge’s towers. The imminent completion comes as Navy Pier reopens for the summer, allowing for city-goers to now more easily navigate between the pier and other points of interest such as Grant Park and the Riverwalk. FH Paschen has served as general contractor for Phase I, while Kenny Construction served as general contractor for Phases II and III.